Remember when I said that we'd do a tutorial today come heck or high water? Well, the Fates found my hubris to be a little too inviting and have struck us down. We're going to try again tomorrow, when Sandy Kay will (try to) bring in her sewing machine. Keep your fingers crossed, since it seems that the Knitting Fates have heard us and decided to get involved.
In lieu of a tutorial today, we have a rather impressive collection of FO's, a couple new WIP's, and the long-awaited renewal of our Skif KAL.
First things first, we have a gorgeous mystery Skif:
As the project info sheet has been misplaced, we'll just have to hope the knitter checks the blog and sees their loveliness on display. The best I can determine from the photographs is that the pattern is the Skif June/ September/ February and that the yarns are, well, varied:
I think I can identify two Habu yarns and maybe some Blue Heron Beaded Rayon... Again, if you knit this, we'd really like to hear about it! Love the color choices and addition of texture (purl ridges) - it already looks magnificent.
Next, we have another mystery customer's project, the Island sweater:
Now, to be fair, the knitter in question was double-parked and ran in for just a minute to show Kristin her finished sweater (who wasn't here, so I took a photo) - which meant there was no time for a project sheet. But we do know that the pattern came from Sweater Wizard and that the yarn is Blue Heron's Bulky Rayon Chenille (it's turning out to be a big day for Blue Heron) in the color "Island".
The sweater was super soft and comfy, and the knitter has enjoyed it so much that she's decided to knit another pullover just like it - well, with slightly shorter sleeves.
The last FO we have for today is Lindsay's first Vintage Baby Cardigan. Knit for a baby shower, this little sweater is gender neutral and cute as a button:
The pattern is Kristin Spurkland's best-selling Vintage Baby Cardigan, and the yarn is ShibuiKnits Sock in "Pebble". Personally, I love her color choice and the buttons. It'll work for a boy or girl, which means it will definitely be used more for longer - something all knitters can appreciate.
And since "It's Spring!" (to quote Marj), I'm/ we're told that It Is Time to cast on those Vintage Baby Cardigans. Or, so Marjorie claims. Both she and Lindsay have VBC's in progress and are certainly progressing at a fast click:
Lindsay's is the Earth (we think she likes the neutrals) and Marj's is in Zinnia. Too cute!
Then, lastly, in the Staff WIP Update (all formal and everything) is my own miniature Purple Parade...
The socks are for Tika. Remember Tika? Well, her chemo has gone extraordinarily well and she's scheduled for surgery tomorrow. I'm hoping to have these ready (remember, the photos are from yesterday!) for her as a "Get Well Soon" gift in post-op. Well, Farrah will have them for her. I've been knitting feverishly and only have a couple of inches left on the leg/ cuff.
The giant eggplant rectangle is my in progress Skif Jess, being knit with the Skif cotton yarn (yum!). Maybe it'll start looking like a sweater soon... One can only hope. I do have to say, though, that I really do love working with the yarn - it creates the most interesting, almost meshy, fabric. Very neat.
Which segues very nicely into the fact that we are resurrecting the Skif KAL.
Get ready to mix and match yarns, 'cause we've got an awesome Skif It Yarn Sampling planned that will start you in the right direction. Or, if you already have a Skif on the needles (::cough, cough:: ahem), you can knit with us in good company, so grab a badge for your blog or ravelry or just because:
And plan to come to our Skif Cast On Party!
It's gonna be awesome. Sandy Kay, Marj, and I are gonna be there and help you get your Skif on in style. We're also going to have a Sew Your Skif Happy Hour later in the month (look for it on the website later this week) to make sure all of our KAL participants can finish their sweaters without difficulty.
Now that is everything. Until tomorrow, in which we really, really hope to make a tutorial, happy knitting!
There was no blog post or tutorial (!) last week because I couldn't get Sandy Kay to hold still long enough. She's the only person on staff with a manicure and who will actually let her hands be photographed, so making up a tutorial is rather dependent on holding her down in one spot. But, do not fear, I shall prevail this week and corner her with the camera and sample that we need to steek.
I also have blog-worthiness but can't get the photos off of the camera, simply because the camera USB cord has completely disappeared. This is beginning to look suspicious. David, our IT guy, has promised to find me one tomorrow. So, come heck or high water, we shall have a blog post and tutorial tomorrow.
So, until then, please forgive our tardiness and stay dry!
Hello and happy Thursday, everyone! If you're in the Portland area, I hope you enjoyed the lovely weather over the last couple of days. I know I'm re-inspired to consider spring knitting options.
So, jumping right in, the first pattern I have to share today is Petrie - a free pattern by Beautia Dew that I found on Knitty.
This is perfect for a spring/summer tank option, and I'm a big fan of the boatneck. It reminds me of a bit more structured version of Coco Knits' Gretel, and Thursday by Assemblage. Can't you just see this with a full, high waisted skirt? Done originally in a DK weight cotton, I'd really like to see it in Rowan's Lenpur Linen (color 566 especially).
Now that the giant shipment of Poetry in Stitches is behind me, I've had a bit more time to roam Ravelry this week in the hope of finding pattern alternatives for some of my favorite Fashion Week looks. I haven't stopped thinking about this look from the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2010 show since my last post and it's been driving me crazy.
Pretty similar to the one I found last week, this pattern would achieve the layering look a bit better, being not quite as heavy on top. Originally done in a sport weight alpaca held double, I would do the same and use Isager Alpaca 2.
Here is a look from the Chloe F/W 2010 show that I've been mulling over for a few days:
Interesting how many knit top and skirt combos we saw this season. I think this one is really easily achievable. Hannah Fettig's Lightweight Pullover works perfectly for the top; and, for the skirt, I'm really liking Bell Curve by Kira Dulaney, which is available for free on Ravelry:
The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn, and (since skirts have such potential to grow) I'd choose something a little sturdier and with some memory. Rowan Demin could be a great option, but I'd also be interested in seeing how Rowan Wool Cotton would hold up.
Another look I really liked this season was this men's cabled cardigan from Rag & Bone:
Immediately upon seeing this photo my mind flew to the Man's Cabled Cardigan by Josh Bennett, from the Vogue Knitting Winter 09/10 issue:
I don't know about you, but I (and most of us here at Knit Purl) were immediately obsessed with this pattern. While it is a great men's pattern, I'd make it as a weekend sweater for myself. The pattern calls for Rowan Lima, which I would definitely stick with. If you haven't worked with it yet, I highly recommend it. An 84% baby alpaca, 8% merino, and 8% nylon blend, it's absolutely gorgeous and truly is a treat for your hands.
With that I'll have to leave you for another week, check back next Thursday for another edition of Fashionknitsta. Until then, as always, stay chic blogfans!
Hello everyone! It's Thursday again, and if you saw Sara's post yesterday you'll know that after years of waiting Solveig Hisdal's legendary Poetry In Stitches is finally back in print and that I'm working as quickly as possible to get them out of here to you! So, in light of this, I won't be able to properly give Fashionknitsta the attention it needs today, but I have some great runway and everyday knitwear inspiration that I just can't wait to share.
First, I saw this on The Sartorialist the other day and absolutely and immediately fell in love with this knit short look:
What a great layering idea, perfect for the winter to spring transition. I wish I could get a detail shot of these, I expect they would have been machine knit though the gauge looks as though it could have been hand done. What do you think? I think I'd love to have a pair out knit out of the (I'm sure you can guess) Joseph Galler Prime Alpaca. I've done a couple quick Ravelry searches, but haven't quite found the correct pattern for these.
One of my favorite collections shown for Fall/Winter 2010 by far was Louis Vuitton. Visually, a beautiful show overall (I suggest watching a video of it if you have a chance), the clothes and accessories alike were absolutely breathtaking. Similar to the Prada collection, Vuitton went with a retro feel, though they went quite a bit more lady-like and delicate (Mad Men, anyone? Joan vs. Betty?). The silhouette for this collection was very feminine and high-waisted, with full skirts done in cottons, silks, and wools and accented with some great knit pieces. Here are a few of my favorite looks:
Love the idea of layering a knit dress over another skirt like this, the textures are just fantastic. I haven't had the time to do a proper Ravelry hunt for this look, but so far I've come up with this sweater from Drops Design, which I expect could easily be made longer.
I love the idea of the classic fisherman sweater made more modern and feminine. You can tell it's quite heavily cabled and there's definitely some bobbles, but it still manages to look delicate. The contrast of textures in this look is just beautiful, I wish I could see a detail shot of the sweater.
Similar to the first look I think this one has a bit more imagination. I love the cables and it looks as though its been painted on post-knitting. How else could you get that perfect scallop at the bottom? Again, wish I had a detail shot.
I promise I will look for all of these and investigate them a bit more in-depth, once I take care of all of these books. Now, before I get distracted, I should get back to that. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Check back next week for another edition of Fashionknitsta. Until then (as always), stay chic, blogfans!
That's right, all you knitters who have been waiting impatiently. It's here and we're sending them out today (and tomorrow, there are a lot of you guys on the wait list). It's breathtakingly beautiful and, honestly, everything we expected. Definitely worth the wait.
TWO. After two weeks of home rest, Judy is BACK!
And we have proof. She came in last night to teach her first Beginning Knitting class in over a fortnight. Because she is still recovering, though, we've cut back on some of her classes. Contact us for more information if you're one of her students.
This hardbound collection of mitten patterns is quite clearly a compilation of the author's life's work. For almost twenty years, researcher Aina Praakli has been studiously cataloging traditional Estonian mitten patterns. Her sources have included the Estonian National Museum and knitters/ families of Estonian knitters from around the world who offered up great-grandma's mitten patterns for this tome.
Hardbound and printed in both Estonian and English, I think that this book is going to be one of the Great Sources in twenty years - like Barbara Walker or Alice Starmore. Which is why I'm getting my copy now, before they're all gone.
And before you panic, let me tell you that we ordered 60 copies because we knew we'd want them and that you probably would, too. Expect to see an eCard this Friday with more information on this amazing book, or check it out on our website - it's up for sale and even has inside shots. My own favorite (at the moment) is this beauty:
Laiuse. Which, incidentally, also happens to be the author's favorite pattern.They're from the parish of Laiuse and date to the late 1920's. Just gorgeous. I think I'd like to make them with Shetland Spindrift, so I could duplicate the original colors, which are stunning. Maybe Tartan, Mint, Cardinal, and Anemone?
They would probably have to be knit on 2.00 mm/ US 0's to get the right gauge of 10 stitches per inch (for an 8 inch hand), but it wouldn't be impossible. Maybe this can be the project that will help me complete my knitting New Year's resolution.
Anyway, that's everything of great importance at the store right now. But, before I go, have you seen our two latest tutorials? If not, you might want to check them out. Sandy Kay and I share a couple of our own personal tips/ tricks for picking up a Provisional Cast On and joining a new yarn (painlessly!).
I (Sara M.) may have actually invented a new trick with this method of joining a new yarn. It was inspired by the traditional method for joining a new yarn (or weft) while weaving. Weavers actually use a straight pin or needle, but we're going to cheat and use a locking stitch marker.
This technique is quick, easy, and provides really even tension without having to spit-splice. Admittedly, it does require weaving in ends once the project is knit. To see any of these photos up close and personal, check out our Joining A New Yarn Tutorial on flickr.
Text Instructions (each step has a corresponding photo):
Holding working yarn, make a slip knot with a 6 inch tail.
Place the slip knot on the locking stitch marker and tighten.
Pin the stitch marker to the wrong side of the project approximately 1 inch below the current row.
Lock the stitch marker (it had to be said).
Turn to the right side of the project and pick up the working yarn that is attached to the stitch marker. Tension the yarn as you normally would (i.e. around your fingers, in your hand, etc).
Begin to knit with the new yarn.
When you get to the end of the row, you'll see the stitch marker (and yarn) have been pulled taught across the wrong side of the project. This will keep your gauge even and prevent unraveling.
After about an inch of knitting with the new yarn you can remove the stitch marker from the wrong side.
See? Wasn't that easy? Next week we're going to steel ourselves and actually cut up some knitting. Get ready to steek!
Two weeks ago we demonstrated our own way to Provisionally Cast On. As we explained at the time, the purpose of a Provisional Cast On is to create a working edge at the bottom of the piece that will be picked up and knit later. Generally this technique is used for custom edgings or patterns that are symmetrical from the center (i.e. the Ruffled & Ruched Scarf).
This week, we're going to show you how to pick up those "live" stitches and get started knitting again.
Knitters may want to practice this technique first, before trying it on an actual project. Provisionally Cast On a swatch and knit a few rows before binding off. In addition to the working needle, you will need a smaller (and very pointy) knitting needle to unravel the waste yarn.
In this demonstration we are using Shibui Baby Alpaca DK as the working yarn (teal) and Cascade 220 Superwash as the waste yarn (lilac). To see any of these images up close, please visit our Picking Up A Provisional Cast On tutorial on flickr. Note: we did not bother to bind off the swatch, hence there is an extra working needle shown.
Text Instructions (each step has a corresponding photo):
Holding the project in your left hand, turn the work so that the Cast On edge is on top. You will start with the last stitch that was Cast On - i.e. the side of the swatch with only the waste yarn "tail".
Holding the working needle in your right hand, point the tip towards the first stitch you need to pick up.
Carefully push the needle tip through the stitch, from right to left.
Scoot the stitch up onto the needle, away from the tip.
Holding the smaller needle with your left hand, place the needle tip under the waste yarn "tail". Note: the waste yarn will look like it has been wrapped around the working stitch.
Using a scooping motion, work the tip of the smaller needle up and through the waste yarn "tail". Be sure not to catch the working yarn in this motion.
Start tugging gently with the smaller needle to loosen the wrapped waste yarn.
Once the waste yarn has been loosened, you can use your fingers to tug the waste yarn out of the stitch.
Repeat Steps 2 - 8 until all the stitches have been picked up with the working needle. The waste yarn should no longer be attached to the project.
The stitches will be twisted from picking up the stitches from right to left. Either knit the first round through the backs of the loops or take another needle and twist them so they face the correct way. Now you're ready to rejoin the working yarn! See our Joining A New Yarn (Painlessly!) Tutorial for a neat trick.
Hello and happy Thursday everyone! After all the excitement of the first ever Portland Yarn Crawl last weekend, this week at the store has seemed extra quiet. It was so great to meet so many locals that had never been in before and those coming in from out of town as well. If you didn't get the chance to visit us during the crawl you missed some great events! We were lucky enough to have both Julie Weisenberger of CocoKnits and Takako of Habu Textiles visit with us all weekend and bring along trunk shows. It was amazing to be able to see so many of their pieces in person and wonderfully enough a preview of many of the garments (all done in Habu yarns) from the soon-to-be released book by Olga Buraya-Kefelian & Vanessa Yap-Einbund Ori Ami Knits (now available for pre-order through our website).
This is Julie Weisenberger (modeling her pattern Yvonne) and myself in front of her garments.
Eva was kind enough to model a new CoCoKnits pattern, Lena, for me. It's done in Rowan Lima, a mostly alpaca with a touch of merino blend, and oh my goodnes, is it a dream. I think this one left us all drooling, I can't wait for the pattern to be published!
Thanks again to Eva for modeling the beautiful Rhombus Wrap from Ori Ami Knits. I think this one was a favorite for all of us. The gorgeous dress next to her is Concertino, also from Ori Ami Knits. This piece was by far my favorite, done in the Habu XS-21 linen held double it is absolutely the perfect weight for spring and just look at this detail:
So beautiful! I cannot wait for this book to come out! A big thanks to Julie and Takako for bringing all of their beautiful pieces to share with us and for letting me be a huge nerd and take photos with them. I hope we get to see you again soon!
Since I have so many super-secret-sock-club things to attend to I'll have to cut this a bit short today. Hope everyone has a great weekend, check back next week for another edition of Fashionknitsta. Until then, as always, stay chic blogfans!
Now here's a tutorial I wouldn't have immediately thought of, but it turns out that many knitters are not familiar with the Three Needle Bind Off and that just won't do. Sandy Kay and I borrowed Lindsay's (our resident Fashionknitsta) nearly finished Vintage Baby Cardigan to demonstrate this super-easy technique - both in the English and Continental styles.
First a little background, the Three Needle Bind Off is used as an alternative to seaming knit garments. Two in-progress pieces (i.e. still on their needles) are worked together at the "seam" to create an effortless join that has a little extra elasticity. Please note: this technique is traditionally worked with the two pieces held right side to right side - ensuring that the seam will be on the wrong side and hidden. Be sure to check this before starting!
It is also important that both of the pieces being worked together have the same number of stitches. If they do not, correct this before working the bind off.
The first half of the tutorial is shown in the English style, the second half is in Continental. The technique is worked the same for both, only the working yarn is held in a different hand.
Text Instructions (each step has a corresponding photo):
Hold two pieces as if to knit in left hand, with the needles held parallel, making sure that the "right" sides of the garment are facing each other.
Using right hand needle, go through the first stitch on the front left needle as if to knit. Continue through the first stitch on the back left needle as if to knit. The right hand needle will be poking through two stitches at this point.
Knit the two stitches together by pulling the working yarn through both stitches. Once both the stitches have been knit, slide these two stitches off the left needles.
Repeat Steps 2 & 3, you will now have two stitches on the right needle.
Using the back left needle, pull the first stitch on the right needle up and over the second stitch (as if to bind off). This step may be a little uncomfortable at first. We recommend that you hold the back left needle so that it sticks out an extra half inch, making it easier to manipulate the stitch being bound off.
Continue in this manner, i.e. knitting one stitch from the front left needle with one stitch on the back left needle, then binding off the previously worked stitch (on right needle) over this new stitch.
After you have worked across the row, the "seam" will look like a crocheted chain. When you reach the last stitch, cut the yarn (leaving at least a 6 inch tail) and pull it through the remaining stitch.
On the opposite side, the seam will be almost invisible.
Congratulations, you've just completed one seam!
Next week? Picking Up A Provisional Cast On! And we have just the project for this.
Happy Thursday everyone! If you're in PDX I hope you're enjoying this beautiful day, it's really looking like Spring!
If you've been keeping up with the recent current events, i.e. the Olympics and Fall 2010 Fashion Week you may have noticed the same trend we have, a resurgence of Fair Isle and cozy knitwear! Sara has blogged a bit about it when she featured the Peruvian Alpine Skiing Team uniform and we've all been very excited to see it! With all this wonderful sunshine lately I've been trying to get into a Spring feeling and so far it's really not working out. Really, how could it with amazing patterns like this one by Helena Bristow based on the official US Olympic Hat designed by Ralph Lauren available (for free!) on Ravelry:
Love the moose motif! This little beauty is done with a worsted weight yarn so it would go super fast, I think because color is such an important part of this I'd stick with Cascade 220 Superwash (sadly not on our website, but available in the store) to get really clear reds and blues. Keeping in the Fair Isle spirit, one of my (and everyone else's it seems!) favorite pieces from this years Olympics was this great sweater for the Canadian Olympic team by the Hudson Bay Company: I haven't stumbled upon a pattern based on this one yet (big surprise, right?) but I hope its on the way. Until then I suppose I'll have to be satisfied with this pattern for coordinating mittens.
EDIT: Shortly after finishing this blog, on a whim I decided to take another look. This isn't exactly what I was looking for, but its pretty great. I'm not sure how I ended up at Canadian Living Magazine, but they had a beautiful pattern available for free by Paton's Design Studio for His and Her's Reindeer Sweaters!
Whoever was coming up with concepts for these Olympic looks was obviously on the right track as this knitwear and Fair Isle trend was present all over this years Autumn/Winter runways. In my opinion the D&G show at Milan Fashion Week was by far the stand out for this trend. Here are a few of my favorite looks:
I just love how they put the twist on the classic look of this traditional design. It was such an interesting move to incorporate the printed Fair Isle motifs on chiffon, but pair it with such a substantial knit leg warmer. In the third look I really love the juxtaposition of the leather with the little knit rib trim.
If you're looking for something a little more tailored, British designer Lou Dalton showed a more traditional approach at London's Fashion Week:
Just beautiful, I love the classic look of a Fair Isle Vest.
As far as knitwear goes, Fair Isle wasn't the only trend to be see on the runways. Everyone from Michael Kors to Lacoste to Pringle of Scotland were showing knits:
Pringle of Scotland
These are all lovely, I'm especially interested in the big chunky scarf at Lacoste, but by far the stand out of this season in the knitwear world was Prada.
Absolutely beautiful, the entire collection is wonderful (so Mad Men!) so I suggest taking a peak at the rest of it if you're interested. These pieces were really standouts, the cabled dress in the second image is beyond words and I love the stockings and the chic headbands. I'm going to have to get started on a pair of Cookie A'sRhiannon Socks immediately (definitely in Isager Alpaca 2 to get the wooly look!):
And one of these babys. This pattern, Julia's Cabled Headband is a free Ravelry download by Paulina Chin. My search found that there are quite a few cabled headband patterns on Ravelry so if you like the look, there is a lot to choose from!
Before this post gets too out of hand (I really could go on for days!) I probably should get back to shipping. I hope everyone gets to enjoy the sun today (hope it stays through the weekend!), as always check back next week for another edition of Fashionknitsta. Until then, stay chic blogfans!